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  • Homemade Pizza Dough & Marinara Sauce

    Ever since I posted my homemade pizza dough tip a few months ago, I’ve been making pizza regularly – every one to two weeks. The recipe below is adapted from The 1997 Joy of Cooking.For me, it makes 4 ultra thin crust pizzas, 2 6-inch thick crust pizzas, and 1 10-inch breadstick. (In case you were wondering, the thin crust pizzas are for Marc and me, and get topped with sauce, anchovies, chopped fresh spinach, and mozzarella. The thick crust cheese pizzas are for Alex and Tyler, and the breadstick is for Tyler, since he often prefers plain crust.)

    Homemade Pizza Dough

    2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
    1 1/3 cup warm water
    1 cup white whole wheat flour
    2 – 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

    (Note: I use my stand mixer but you could use a large bowl and then knead by hand.)

    In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast and water and let sit for five minutes. Add whole wheat flour, 2 cups all purpose flour, 2 tablespoons oil and salt and mix with a dough hook on low to combine. If the dough is sticky, add all purpose flour one tablespoon at a time until the dough no longer comes off on your finger. Knead with the dough hook for 10 minutes. Turn off mixer and remove the bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil, pull the dough off hook, and turn the dough to coat it with oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately two hours.

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line two or three baking sheets with parchment paper and drizzle remaining oil on the paper. Divide and shape the dough as desired. (If you’re having trouble stretching the dough, let it rest and then come back.) Cover with desired toppings and bake for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on thickness. (I check to see if the edges of the crust have browned and the cheese has melted.)

    Marinara sauce

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 tablespoon dried oregano
    1 tablespoon dried basil
    1 8-oz can tomato sauce

    In a small saucepan, combine the oil, garlic, oregano and basil over medium heat. After the oil begins to sizzle, cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tomato sauce, stir to combine, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until desired thickness is achieved.

    Comments

    1. Mama Bird says:

      I am going to try these recipes! Am I correct in assuming you freeze it since it makes so much? Or do you make it all at once and then freeze it? And does the sauce make enough for all of those pizzas?

      Thanks!

    2. The Martin Family says:

      I'm wondering where you and others place your dough to rise. I never make my own because it seems like such a hassle.

    3. We use the No Knead Bread Dough recipe (Mark Bittman wrote about it in the NYT a couple of years ago – it's all over the internet) as the basis for our pizza dough. It's great and it's practically zero effort.

      Put 3 c. flour (we use 2 of whole wheat and 1 of white), 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. yeast in a large bowl. Stir in 1 5/8 c. water. It will be a messy dough. Scrape down the sides. Cover the bowl with a plate (or plastic wrap) and set aside for 12-24 hours. Turn it out onto a floured work surface and quarter the dough. At this point you have options. You can put the quarters into lightly oiled plastic bags and freeze, or you can start making pizza right away if you are in a hurry. If you aren't in a rush, you can let them rise a little bit before making the pizza. The crust comes out a little bit better, but honestly it's not a dramatic difference so I usually don't worry about it. You can roll out the dough, or hand stretch it. I prefer hand stretched. Top the crusts and bake in a 500 degree (preheated) oven for 8-10 minutes (varies based on toppings).

      If you freeze your dough, let it defrost on the counter or in the fridge and then use as above.

      Makes 4 10" pizzas.

    4. Chief Family Officer says:

      @MamaBird – All those pizzas are actually perfect for dinner and then the next day's lunch for us so I've never frozen anything. I have frozen pizza dough in the past without problems though. The sauce is the perfect amount for all of the pizzas if you don't use a lot (we don't like saucy pizzas – but if you do, then definitely increase the amount).

      @Martin Family – I just leave mine on the stove or the counter.

      @Jen – I've never made the No Knead Bread b/c I don't have the right type of pan. That sounds great though, I wonder if Tyler would like it more since he's the crust lover and it would be more like bread. I'll have to try it, thanks!

    5. We started making the bread in a Pyrex bowl. I made a lid out of foil. I did eventually buy a cast iron Dutch oven when I found one for a good price, but the bowl worked perfectly. (My partner likes the Dutch oven better because it has handles, but I am happy with both and will still use the bowl if the Dutch oven is not available.)

      When used as pizza dough, I find the resulting crust similar to brick-oven pizza. I don't know whether or not your son will prefer that but I love the ease of it.

    6. Chief Family Officer says:

      @Jen – You baked the bread in Pyrex? I might have to try that! I'll definitely try the dough – it sounds like something Tyler would like :) Thanks so much!

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